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New Zealand Masters Games Village Awash with Camaraderie

Press Release – Masters Games

Even a week of rain cant dampen the spirits of competitors at the Southern Trust New Zealand Masters Games as they pour into the Games Village in Dunedin. Starting on Saturday, the countrys largest multi-sport event is expected to attract close …
New Zealand Masters Games Village Awash with Camaraderie

Even a week of rain can’t dampen the spirits of competitors at the Southern Trust New Zealand Masters Games as they pour into the Games Village in Dunedin. Starting on Saturday, the country’s largest multi-sport event is expected to attract close to 5000 competitors, and each of them it seems has a smile on their face.

Games Manager Vicki Kestila says, “There’s such a spirit of camaraderie here. They come to compete, they come to have fun and they come to meet up with old friends and make new ones. In the process records are broken, personal bests are set, medals are won. It’s got to be the most celebratory and inspirational sporting event there is.”

At 90 years of age, Dunedinite Jim Carson is the eldest male competitor. He is taking part in the 10k walk. Jim doesn’t do any special prep for the event as he considers himself pretty fit. He says he’s walked a mile nearly every day of his life and is extremely proud that, at 90, he doesn’t swallow a single pill.

From Marlborough, Peter Preddy is not letting his 82 years stop him from competing in the 200k cycling tour, and 82yr old blind fisherman, Roger Kan from Dunedin, will once again cast his rod at the Salt Water Fishing. At the 2014 Games Roger won Gold for the heaviest fish caught. He said then, “it’s all about technique; eyesight just gets in the way.”

Miriam Jarvis from Mosgiel is 88 years old and the eldest female competitor. Miriam, who testifies to still having good eyesight and good hearing, will be playing Euchre. This is her first time at the Games, but not her first playing in competitions as she is a regular at the New Zealand Euchre Championships. While she enjoys the social side of the game, she says she won’t be up to any shenanigans at the Games Village at night because, “I need my sleep”.

One of the most active female octogenarians is 84year old Faith Thomas from Christchurch who is playing tennis.

The majority of competitors are aged between 40-60 yrs, but there are 405 competitors over the age of 70 and 50 are over 80yrs.

This year’s Games ambassadors are former world champion cyclist Alison Shanks and Otago Rugby identity Tony Gilbert.

Alison Shanks says she’s looking forward to coming home to Dunedin and getting out and seeing some great sporting action. She will also be keeping an eye on her 86year old grandfather, Watson Barkman who is the eldest competitor playing golf.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to be involved in the Games which is such a vibrant, fun event for the city.Having a challenge to strive for and then test yourself in competition is a healthy way to live, and what better way to do it than with a bunch of friends and some party time thrown in between!”

Shane Cortese, who is the headline act with his 8Track Band on Saturday night at the Games Village, has also got a touch of the Masters Games spirit and will be taking to the field to play for Kiwi Masters Football team although he says he can’t guarantee that his footwork will match that of teammates ex All White players, Mike McGarry and Noel Barkley.

The 2016 Games have attracted competitors from 13 different countries. Other countries represented include Australia,USA, Canada, UK, India, Guam, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Germany, and New Caledonia.

Soccer is the most popular team sport with 54 teams entered followed closely by netball with 53 teams. There are 66 sports and activities scheduled including more sedentary options such as poker, euchre and wine options. 900 volunteers help make the Games happen.

The official Opening Ceremony is on Saturday night at 7.30pm at the Games Village on the University of Otago campus.

SOUTHERN TRUST NZ MASTERS GAMES 2016
Dunedin
January 30 – February 6
www.nzmg.com

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